CSOs on schedule for Union Peace Conference

Preparations for civil-society organisations’ forums will be finalised by January 25, according to the committee for organising CSO forums.

CSOs’ preparatory meetings have been held in Bago Region, Magway Region and northern Shan State and are ongoing in Taninthayi Region.

Thwin Lin Aung at the committee said: “We call the preparatory meetings in 14 states and regions ‘workshop’. All of them will be finalised by January 25before the grand CSOs’ forum scheduled for the first week of February.”

Shan rebels told to stay out of politics

The Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP), also known as the White Tiger Party, has called for the Shan State Progress Party (SSPP) rebel army not to side with any political parties and stay neutral in future elections.

The SSPP recently held its annual general meeting and said it aimed to help establish peace and development, end ethnic people's suffering and political and military conflict.

The SNDP said it hoped the SSPP would boost public trust and respect by not siding with any political parties ahead of future elections.

Kayin groups hold seminar on political affairs to prepare for national talks

Kayin – or Karen – ethnic groups held a three-day seminar on political affairs in Hpa-an this week, to prepare for national political talks.
The meeting was held from Wednesday till today (Jan 13) at Zwegabin Hall, in Kayin State. 
The seminar was organised and funded by Kayin ethnic armed groups, Kayin political parties and Kayin ethnic organisations. 

Govt peace commission due to meet ethnic groups yet to sign ceasefire deal

The government peace commission was due to meet members of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)’s Delegation for Political Negotiation (DPN) – ethnic groups that have yet to sign the National Ceasefire Agreement – in Chiang Mai today (Jan 13), Hla Maung Shwe, from the Peace Advisory Committee, said.
The peace commission has not met with the UNFC’s political negotiators since early November. The UNFC is a coalition of armed ethnic groups (listed below). 

Peace group forms team to negotiate with State Counsellor and military chief over release of detainees

Ethnic groups who signed the National Ceasefire Agreement have set up a five-member panel to negotiate with the State Counsellor and military commander on the release of four detainees. 
The Peace Process Steering Team formed the committee to negotiate with Aung San Suu Kyi and Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services, Ye Baw Than Khe, chairman of the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF), said.

State govt bars Yanghee Lee’s visit to Hpakant and Laiza due to security concerns

The Kachin State government barred the visit of UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar Yanghee Lee to Hpakant and Laiza due to security concern, sources said.

Lee arrived at Myitkyina on Monday evening and the trip was cancelled after she discussed with Colonel Thura Myo Tint, state minister for security and border affairs.